I’ve just returned from a week-long retreat with Eckhart Tolle in upstate New York. If you haven’t heard of him, then this may be the greatest gift I can give you. Please read his two books The Power Of Now and The Near Earth – they’re transformational.
I regard Eckhart as one of the greatest spiritual teachers to have existed; you could say a modern-day Buddha or Jesus. I recognise that comparison may have triggered some emotions for you, which may inhibit you from taking in this message! So before you make that assumption, let me reassure you this article isn’t ‘religious’. Eckhart’s teachings are all about living in the now, focusing on presence, reducing incessant thinking, and connecting with your consciousness. In short, practices and mindset choices that can help you create more freedom, happiness, and abundance in your life.
I’ve practised Eckhart’s teachings for many years now, but my practice accelerated recently, as my circumstances forced me to confront my pain-body. [‘Pain-body’ is Eckhart’s term to describe the build-up of old emotional pain in our energy field. This pain is caused by difficult emotions that weren’t processed and released at the moment they arose]. With the help of his work, I’ve been able to see for myself who I am.
Although I’ve read everything he’s written and watched nearly every video he’s produced, there’s something profoundly different about being in a room with someone like Eckhart. You get to feel his incredibly high vibrational energy field and as a result, his messages go deeper. I realised one of the things that made this possible was my choice to be truly present with him. When he spoke I was very still and alertly present. I rooted my entire focus and awareness in the present moment, which meant I could absorb so much more from the experience. Usually, I’m doing other tasks like driving or hiking while listening and this inevitably takes away some of my attention. This in itself was a powerful reminder that multitasking doesn’t work!
Money is a trigger
A few people got to ask questions, and I was extremely lucky to be chosen. (No I wasn’t, I manifested it!) I introduced my question by saying “I have a question about money”. Oooh, I clearly did something there as my words drew gasps and sighs from the audience! What had I done? I’d awakened many pain-bodies in the room. This room may have been full of awakened people, but we know that money is a huge trigger and money stories are tangled up in the pain-body.
I didn’t let this reaction throw me and continued with my question. I shared with Eckhart my belief that as a society, we’ve collectively turned money into one of the most essential things in our lives. So much so that if the monetary system were to crumble, we’d soon be in complete chaos because we’re entirely dependant on money to meet our basic needs.
I also shared that money is the thing that takes us out of the present moment more than anything else. Society has made it so we’re never satisfied with what we’ve got. As a result, we’re either wallowing in past regrets or optimistically hoping for a better future. ‘More money’ is put on a pedestal as the remedy to make everything better.
As I spoke, Eckhart was alertly present and stared straight into my eyes; nodding and smiling with my comments.
I then went on to share my contrasting view that money is symbolic energy and can be one of the greatest spiritual teachers of them all. That’s because your relationship with money… your Money Story – your fears, hopes, and insecurities with money, can highlight where you’re stuck and what you can do to heal.
Then I finally got to my question 🙂
“How do you see money playing a role in the future of our collective awakening? Can you share what your relationship with money is and how you’ve handled the common criticism of spiritual teachers who’ve benefited significantly financially from their teaching?”
We can awaken through money
Now I can’t give you his full answer because in true Eckhart form, he went on a deep explanation for about 15 minutes. But these were the key points he shared.
Eckhart agreed that money is indeed symbolic energy and it can be used as a tool to awaken us. What gets in the way of this evolution is a lot of people don’t understand what money is and they aren’t aware of the forces associated with it. They’re also unconscious and unaware of the relationship they have with money. For example, lots of people believe that money [or what money can buy] will solve their current suffering, sometime in the future. That’s why we say we’ll be happy when we’re debt-free, when we get a promotion, or when we can afford to quit the job we hate and go travelling for a year!
But Eckhart’s consistent message is this…
You can only be happy in the future if you are happy in the NOW. That’s because the future doesn’t exist because it is only ever ‘NOW’. If you want to have ‘more’ in the future, you need to have a good relationship with money in this moment. [And the way to do that is to choose to have that.]
Eckhart then told us a long story about how he grew up very poor. He explained that he didn’t have much money for years while teaching and how his upbringing greatly affected his relationship with money. Once he awakened, he always felt like he had enough; he never felt lacking. [Lacking is a reminder that you’re not present and connected to consciousness.] Eckhart shared how he’d tried different ways to charge for his teachings, including offering it for free or for donations. Unfortunately, he found that commitment levels dropped significantly when there was no investment required, which meant his message didn’t go deep enough. Eventually, he accepted that the message was more important and started to charge for his teachings and allow abundance to flow into his life. He still lives a very simple life and never even thinks about money [which is the definition of financial freedom].
He then shared stories about how the ego can use money. For example, even people who seem to be doing great work and charitable acts are often driven from an egoic state.
This question gave me so many gifts. Throughout the retreat, so many people came up to me and thanked me for my question. They became vulnerable. They shared how they wanted to know Eckhart’s take, but didn’t feel able to ask because money isn’t something we speak of openly. They also confessed to feeling shame that money was affecting them so much even though they were on a spiritual journey. Several people observed that even Eckhart was potentially a little triggered by his money story! His voice patterns were unusually affected, and he shared a lot more about himself personally, then he usually does.
So what to take from all of this?
Everyone has a money story, and this story affects your ability to Be Intentional and Live in the Now. This story affects how you feel around money. It affects your self-worth, how you feel about asking for money, and how you feel about accepting, growing, and creating wealth.
Unfortunately, as a collective, we’ve made money such a taboo subject meaning there’s little chance to explore how your story affects and disempowers you. It’s therefore, a challenge to gather insights and understand how you can positively improve your relationship with money to create the life you want.
Until you move beyond this stuckness, you’ll struggle to have an empowering relationship with money and create the life you want.
WE are changing this.
WE are committed to making you feel safe, supported and empowered to learn your money story so you can confront how it affects you. WE want to help you create an intentional relationship with money so you can further awaken. As a byproduct of this, you’ll create more freedom, abundance and happiness in your life.
Disclaimer: All information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.